I always feel there should be a certain amount of decorum regardless of what a person’s doing and this includes running.
This morning I was galloping along the road in my new spring outfit having a nice, restful run – black tights, a long white T under a black quilted vest; I call it my punk Peter Pan look.
My wounds are healing from my fall a week ago so I was in a pretty good mood until this fellow flew by spitting over his left shoulder. If I hadn’t ducked I would have gotten hit right in the eye.
No, it’s not funny.
I don’t know one female who would have done that. We would have choked first.
Who does he think he is anyway?
I was so irritated that I decided to get into his face about it.
Let me describe him first. He was in his 30s, jock like with a big, barreled chest. He was sweating like crazy another reason for me to shudder since he was like one huge drip. God forbid he shook himself off. I would have needed penicillin.
When I caught up with him he was panting waiting for the light to change by Strawberry Fields so I looked at him and said, “you know your spit almost hit me.”
He took out his earphones and said, “What did you say Miss?” (shit, he called me Miss)
I repeated myself in a nicer tone since I saw right away how absolutely clueless he was, not that I’m excusing him mind you, but he did lack that obstinate edge I was expecting and well, whenever anyone calls me Miss I melt more than just a little.
“I’m sorry,” he said, “when I get going I really zone out. I’ll try to be more careful. next time.”
This pissed me off too because now I couldn’t yell at him. I so wanted to be self-righteous and let him have it but I let it go and off we both went in different directions.
This incident got me thinking about manners in general, how they really are becoming a dying art.
Take the woman on the train the other morning with the purse that could sleep 6.
It was rush hour, the car was packed; this little old, unassuming man was sitting in front of her with his face practically shoved in her bag. Wendy Wasp in her pink Chanel knock-off suit talking nonstop to an identical friend, was totally oblivious to this. The man, who happened to be Asian, took this whole frontal affront sitting down, so to speak.
“Don’t tell us Susannah, you got involved.”
“Yes I did.”
“I leaned in and said, “Excuse me Madam, could you please move your bag a bit before you smother this poor man?”
She looked at me as if to say, my husband warned me about people like you, then moved it to her other arm.
“Were you really that nice?”
“Yes, of course I was.”
“Well, I did call her bag a wrecking ball but I said it with a great deal of charm.”
We mustn’t leave out parents who don’t bother to teach etiquette to their children anymore. When I was growing up I always had a hankie in my possession. I was taught if moisture of any kind was remotely about to make an appearance out it should come.
Now kids blow their nose in the air. Have you ever seen that? It’s amazing to me, with the mother right there; snot as far as the eye can see sailing out into the atmosphere.
And I would never cough without covering my mouth. I would have gotten a good slap if I didn’t get that one right. I see that on the train a lot too. These kids all from private schools sneeze and hack like they own the car. No wonder half of Manhattan has the flu. People blame it on the weather but I say it’s kids who behave like heathens.
Nothing turns me off more than bad manners. If a man eats with his mouth open, talks with it full or uses his sleeve instead of a napkin I’m gone like a shot.
“Jesus Susannah, all this because of a little spit?”
“It’s like you’re possessed over some guy’s saliva.”
“You know, this is not a topic for discussion or debate.”
“We took a vote and feel you should just move on from this Suz.”
“Well I took a vote and me, myself and I think you should just mind you own business. Better yet, go ride the train at around 3 when the kids get out of school.
Then get back to me.